Foglord represents something new within dungeon synth that I haven’t encountered before; Foglord is the new age voice within the dark dungeons. Where most dungeon synth is, rightly so, dark and doomy with sounds that draws us back to the fantasy realms of books and games that shaped our thinking, Foglord pushes the listener in the opposite direction. Foglord is music that looks forward to new worlds, new possibilities, new planes of existence. The Healing Gardens, according to Darien, the man behind the Foglord persona, is based on a meditative vision he had a few years ago. What can we glean from something like that? Let’s sit beside the fire and listen to what he has to say in his music and find out.
The Healing Gardens has this ethereal quality that goes beyond anything that I’ve heard from dungeon synth so far. The atmosphere on the album isn’t cavernous or cathedrallike, it goes beyond that. The echo and the atmosphere are almost pure nature, without the beautiful, clear production, I could have sworn that the album was recorded outdoors (it would not surprise me one bit to find out that he had). The sound is rich and full of life, The Healing Gardens represents the return of man to nature, and the embrace, for lack of a better word, that nature brings man into. It is not a safe embrace, I don’t think Foglord is suggesting that at all, but there is beauty in nature that man simply cannot recreate. No amount of building can equate the majesty of a flower in bloom or the falling leaves in autumn.
The Healing Gardens is the sound of a place in nature untouched by man, untouched by time or vice. It’s a place of purity. There is a connection here, in the sound, to a more natural movement, one that has, in my opinion, made a fool of itself more often than not with nonsense rhetoric and oddball behavior. Foglord and The Healing Gardens reclaim the meaning and sincerity of that movement. The music, the sound, is not a guided mediation but a means for the listener to explore whatever they so choose. Nature often represents freedom and the breaking down of rules, often new age music forgets this and tries to pigeon hole the listener so that they come to a preconceived conclusion. Not so with Foglord and The Healing Gardens. There is no guide here, no path to take, no goal in mind. The Healing Gardens, the album and the place in the mind, exist to give you rest, to heal from whatever you need to be healed from. The ethereal, almost space-like, melodies are relaxing, allowing the mind to travel and wander where it will, a meandering path that completely unknown beforehand. That is the beauty of this album.
Foglord is something different, something we all need from time to time. At the very least, Foglord represents the waystation where we can refuel and revitalize on our way, a chance to breath the fresh air. By no means does it only represent that, it can also reflect the noble goals of others in their life and their pursuit of their dreams. The Healing Gardens was an eye opening album for me, even though I’ve heard many new age albums before this, this album was different. As I said before it didn’t represent a guided tour with an end goal, I was able to choose where to go, what I wanted to focus and envision the world that I wanted. My gardens are different form yours, yet the music of The Healing Gardens is universal, the message is clear: breathe the free air and envision.
Listen and support the music!